The Pumice Desert

    Pumice Desert is the remains of an ash flow from the big eruption of Mt. Mazama. It is to poor in nutrients to support much plant life. The plaque below reads:

    The pumice deposits you are now standing on are the product of Mt. Mazama, an explosive volcano that collapsed to form the Crater Lake caldera. Mazama stood about 6 miles (9.7 km) south of here (to your left).
    About 7,700 years ago, Mt. Mazama erupted torrents of seething, red-hot pumice and other volcanic rocks. These glowing avalanches raced down the slopes and flooded the valley that lay here with deposits over 100 feet (30 m) deep.
    Even after thousands of years, few trees have become established on the Pumice Desert. There is ample water under the surface, but deficiencies in the soil limit plant growth. Many more years will pass before the surrounding lodgepole pines transform the desert into a forest.


A typical view of Pumice Desert. I had never been in a place like this before. The little arrangement of rocks stood about two feet high.

A tree grows in Pumice Desert.

Gail beside the tree. We were both excited to be in such a special place.

Certain places in the desert were full of these little structures that looked like anthills. We could see no signs of life around them, however.

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